Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The wood duck turns his head!

Tonight I decided to change this wood duck to black and white so you could examine the pattern of his feathers! Remember his eye is bright red! These birds are very graceful--almost every position they take is attractive.

Tonight we go back to ancient China for a poem with geese, rather than a duck, from Poems of the Masters; China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse; translated by Red Pine, Copper Canyon Press, 2003.

On Geese Turning Back      Ch'ien Ch'i      Page 365

Why do they turn back when they reach the Hsaio and Hsiang
the water is green the sand is bright and both shores are mossy
twenty-five strings echo beneath the moon at night
unable to bear such melancholy they all fly away

The Hsaio and the Hsiang are both rivers, the locations of famous sad suicides. There is a very long footnote about the backstory of this poem. Notice that the translation makes no use of punctuation. Writing short, slightly mysterious poems in this four-line form with quite long lines is a good poetic exercise.

No comments:

Post a Comment